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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Red Clay African Himba Tribe

Himba cover their skin and hair with a creamy mixture of fat and red clay. 


What is beauty?


There are worldwide variations on what is physically appealing, the sight of traditional Himba women orange-red clay skin and long red clay covered plaits of hair has become a beautiful iconic image of Africa.

Himba hair and skin photo by salymfayad
African Himba cover their skin and hair
with a creamy mixture of fat and red clay. 
The pastoralists Himba tribe live in northwestern Namibia and Angola. Women wear short skirts made of goat skins, sport rich orange-red clay skin and long red clay covered plaits of hair. 

Himba women spend hours creating the iconic hairstyles. Himba women, as well as Himba men, are famous for covering themselves with otjize paste, a cream mixture of fat and ochre pigment clay. 

Himba women fiercely maintain their traditions, including their intricate hairstyles that change depending on age and whether or not they are married.


Why are Himba women hair and skin a rich orange-red? 



Himba Red Clay Skin by Vince42
Himba Orange-Red Clay Skin 
Otjize is a paste of fat and red ochre sometimes mixed with scented oils. Himba women apply otjize each morning and afternoon to their skin and hair, giving them a distinctive red hue. The sight of traditional Himba women has become an iconic image of Africa. 

Himba women believe otjize adds to their traditional beauty enhancing their attractiveness. The otjize is applied to skin and hair twice a day gives their skin and hair plaits a distinctive orange-red color, as well as texture and an unique traditional style. 

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